Spinach Gratin

I’m dreaming of some creamed spinach gratin…

a good reason not to be vegan
Eater rating: 4.7 / 5  4.675

This lusciously rich dish was packed with goodness; fresh creamed spinach- made with garlic and nutmeg- was tossed with parmigiano reggiano and fontina, then topped with a mixture of fontina, pecorino romano, parmigiano reggiano, and panko and baked to a golden perfection, creating a hearty leafy center and a cheesey top layer to die for.

T: Looking at that picture makes me want to eat that cheesy top layer right off the top. the spinach is great and all, but… that cheesy top layer is looking pretty damn gorgeous.
A: that’s the cheesy top layer siren calling to you! tyyyyyyleeeer…. doooon’t yoooouuuuu waaaaant toooooo come and eeeeeeeaaaat meeee?
T: yes. stop calling me. I can’t have you. For the record, we ate this a while back with our Thanksgiving meal, but it’s still relevant today. This is great any day of the year. I’ll have words with anyone who disagrees.
A: and they had best watch out, because my pepita brittle will go there. you know what i mean…
amanda snaps her hand in a Z in front of her

T: i will also have words with anyone who calls me Pepita Brittle. Pepita Brittle is a mediocre form of a mediocre-to-begin-with candy. It is not a name for a man like myself.
A: now what if i was saying that you were mediocre like the brittle? 😉 eh?
T: then you can say, “tyler, you’re a really mediocre guy in prety much every way.” And I would say, “up yours.” That would be fine, but it is not fine to call me pepita anything or anything brittle.
A: oh my little pepita brittle! i don’t think you’re mediocre at all! you’re quite exquisite! just like good pepita brittle….. my pepita brittle.
T: (to self) just ignore it and it will go away. just ignore it and it will go away…
A: HA! that’s what you think! okay pepbrit (that’s pepita brittle for short) lets focus back on that ooooey gooooey cheeeeesey top layer and the creamy rich spinach that lies beneath!
T: Let’s do that, Kandy (mandy with a k).
A: uh… dude. that doesn’t even make sense! pepbrit, you must be mixed up.
T: names evolve. I’m calling you Kandy now. Anyway, that spinach was damn good. As I recall it was one of my favorite parts of our meal, every part of which kicked ass, so I’ll give it a 4.65/5. I hope you make it again soon! 🙂
A: but of course! it’s not the first time i’ve made it for us, nor will it be the last… although since you’re leaving me for xmas it won’t be anytime soon…. 🙁 i also really recall this being way up there on my list of turkey-day favs. I’m gonna have to give it a 4.7/5. seriously… what’s not to like about a side dish with spinach, garlic, nutmeg, three types of cheese, cream…. panko! yuuuuuuumalicious.
T: woah, watch out Rachael Ray! Kandy’s in town, and she’s shouting yuumalicous! Alright, seriously, I can’t go on calling you Kandy forever. But it’s fun for this post.
A: i, however, can go on calling you pepita brittle for the rest of our lives! (and don’t even think that i’m not gonna whip your ass, son, for calling me kandy! or comparing my words to rachael ray’s!)
T: i’d like to see that. (the latter of the 2 threats, anyway).
A: dude. you needn’t forget that you’re currently an invalid! it would take very little for me to do some damage 😉 but you know i would never really hurt you… just rough you up a bit.
T: that’s fine. I heal quickly (not unlike the Karate Kid), and in the mean time, I will have a sweet little Mandy/Kandy waiting on me hand and foot!!

A Creamy Dreamy Spinach Recipe, by Amanda
Creamed Spinach Gratin

2 10oz packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 tbsp butter
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/8 tsp nutmeg, freshly ground or grated
1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano, freshly grated
1/2 cup pecorino romano, freshly grated
2/3 cup fontina, shredded
2/3 cup panko
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly grease a glass or ceramic loaf pan. Mix together all of the different cheeses. Set cheese mixture aside for later. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add the butter and olive oil. Once the butter has melted and the oils are hot, add the shallot and garlic to the pan. Sweat the shallot and garlic for 4-5 minutes. Do not allow any caramelization, if they start to brown, reduce heat. Add the heavy cream and nutmeg to the pan and raise the heat to medium-high. Allow mixture to reduce for about 5-6 minutes. While the cream is reducing, place the thawed spinach into a clean dish towel and ring out as much of the water as you can. Add the spinach, nutmeg, and 1/2 of cheese mixture to the reduced cream. Stir to combine, then taste the creamed spinach. Season with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste. Pour the creamed spinach into the greased loaf pan. Sprinkle the remaining cheese mixture evenly over the top of the spinach, then do the same with the panko. Bake the gratin at 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes until the cheesey top layer is melty and golden. Serve hot. Enjoy!

15 comments so far:

  1. Heather says:

    I think that Pepita Brittle is delicate, yet delicious. An earthy, sweet goodness and not mediocre in any way…now, Peanut Brittle, she’s another story…

  2. michellephant says:

    wow, way too much irrelevant chit chat! I wanted to hear waaaaaay more about the dreamy creamy spinach! I looooooooooooooove creamed spinach. I re-curse myself for not coming over that autumnal Thursday!

  3. Tyler says:

    Heather… now are we talking about food or people?

    Michellephant, I must admit it was hard to focus on the food while being called Pepita Brittle. Once Amanda gets the recipe up you’ll have to make it and let us know what you think. Not to worry, though… i’m sure you will feast with us some wintery or spring sunday. Ok San Diego has no winter. You know what I’m trying to say.

  4. aria says:

    you guys are in the zone! you couldnt churn out a loser if you tried! ride this wave all the way to fame and fortune. Your on the home stretch lil’ pepitas!!

    this looks delicious, the combo of fontina and panko is revolutionary!

  5. Nicole says:

    We’ll be moving to San Diego in a year. Can I just move next door and be your secondary taste tester? PLEASE??? Ok, sorry, now I sound like a stalker but that looks like some seriously good spinach! And I’ve recently discovered how great panko is as a topping for various casseroles and gratins!

  6. JD says:

    One word, YUMMY. I will definitely make this dish.


  7. Heather says:

    Irrelevant chit chat? pish tosh!

  8. Tyler says:

    Preach it Heather! 😀

  9. Amanda says:

    heather, i agree with tyler! Preach it sister! (on both comments!)

    michelle, sometimes it’s hard to control the diarrhea of the mouth you know!… hopefully you’ll just read the recipe and dream of creammmmmy spinach all night long! 🙂 don’t worry, there’ll be other meals to come to… like next thanksgiving! damn it, i still want some BUDS! (especially since i can’t get back to louisiana for the holidays)

    aria, creamity crunchity, pankoity… heheh i think we could totally churn out a loser! we probably wouldn’t post a loser… but oh, you’d be surprised what i’m capable of churning out! 😉

    nicole! are you kidding?!?! you’re gonna move here in a year!?! that totally rocks. 😀 you think you’ll be doing the stalking, think again! i’ve seen your glorious page woman! and we are always up for a new palate at the table! as long as you’re honest and tell me when things suck 😉

  10. chase says:

    This is so nice! Healthy and delicious and I am a great fan of spinach as well like Popeye! hehehehehe

  11. Thomas says:

    I sure am glad I made it to the age of 33 still believing in Santa Claus. Because this Christmas would really suck if anybody told me otherwise.

  12. Nicole says:

    So I just found out today that I’ll be cooking dinner for some friends on Christmas and I’m definitely going to be making this! Can’t wait 🙂

  13. Rung says:

    It looks so good ! I would like to try this recipe. In the ingredient list, 3/4 heavy cream, do you mean 3/4 cups of heavy cream ? Thanks very much !

  14. Amanda says:

    rung, exactly! 3/4 cup heavy cream. i’m so bad about reading over and editing the text we post! sorry about that.

  15. noush says:

    I just made this dish last night, and i just wanted to say that it was quite possibly the best combination of cheese and spinach i’ve ever had in my life. The left overs are going into puff pastry dough and back in the oven! yum!